The father gently lit his daughter’s cigarette, consciously or unconsciously ignoring the negative impact of his action. Embracing his role as the bad influence, only for a moment. For this precious moment when it feels like there is a real bond, almost like a friendship, with his child. Now she may be able to make her own decisions, and smoke any cigarette she wants, at any time, but she is still his child. And him, her father. Someone to look up to, to learn from, to impress.
But the desire the be closer, the want of a friendship, sometimes blurs the role of the parent. And for a split moment, they’re complete equals. Two adults sharing a cigarette in the sun. Perhaps he doesn’t really smoke anymore. Perhaps she only does it to prove her independence. Either way, here they are creating a bond in the gray air. It’s a different kind of bond. One that doesn’t really require words to be spoken. A simple silent respect.
I watch on, wondering about the “cost” of the bond. Comparing the one cigarette to a dormant volcano awaiting to erupt into a suffocating habit. Realizing I might be overreacting. But thinking that a true friend might value health and good influence over that moment of friendship. Wondering why I can’t overlook the situation. Why I am intrigued, maybe even touched or saddened, by the moment I witness.